The Great Shadows

While I’ve explored karma in several other posts, I thought it would be useful to take it another step into application.

As the saying goes, we come into this life with a suitcase of karma to work through. There will be lots of little bits plus a few big ones. We might call the biggies life lessons or life challenges.

They’ll show up in certain areas of our life and not in others. For example, we may have reasonable health and good work but relationship challenges and issues with money. These things seem to be ongoing or show up … Continue Reading…

Entrenched Habits

Some habits can be very difficult to change. Even if we successfully get around them for a time, they can rear their head again. They can be like a petulant child who always wants its way.

This is a flag of resistance and of karma. Because of its shadow nature, it is often hard for us to see, even if it’s obvious for others around us. We can call this a blind spot. This is especially true of fundamentals, like food, relationships, and money. This is because these habits can be started very early in life when our mental … Continue Reading…

Remaining Shadows

I found a quote near the end of Kavitha Chinnaiyan‘s book Shakti Rising à propos, considering the discussion over on The Challenges of Teaching. This closely relates to the development of Sattva.

“If we have the good fortune of interacting with wise and skilled teachers who have both a strong, compassionate, ethical foundation as well as non-dual insight, we notice that they seem to know what is best for everyone involved, from a universal perspective that is unconditionally loving and impartial. Although it is tempting to assign their abilities to non-dual insight alone, this is usually not the … Continue Reading…

Changes With Enlightenment

When we awaken, one of things many are surprised by is how ordinary and normal it is. How did I not get this simplicity sooner? It often changes little about our outer life as the primary shift is deep within – who we recognize ourselves as being.

For some, there can also be outer changes that come before or after the shift due to karma completing or shifts in life cycles. But for many, life just continues as before. The same goodness and struggles but now from a new perspective.

Here, for example, I was surprised how normal and ordinary … Continue Reading…

Practical Doing

There is a tendency in spiritual circles to blame things on karma. “It didn’t work out because of my karma.” Or “My karma made this a bad experience.”

But this understanding is poor. Karma means action. While action has consequences, we can’t blame everything on that.

For example, we can’t expect waiting for something to happen will cause action to take place. If we want results, we have to act.

As a friend recently commented, until you’ve done everything you can, you can’t blame lack of results on karma. It’s in God’s hands only after you’ve done all … Continue Reading…

Balance of the World

As I have written about prior on Dharma, the world needs a balance of forces so it continues as a stable platform for learning and experience. We might call the world a forum for experiences. Even science has discussed ideas like the “Fine-tuned Universe“, suggesting that the dimensionless constants have very specific values that support the emergence of intelligent life.

If we have acted against what is arising in the past, we may find that area of life blocked or sluggish. This is to prevent us from moving further toward imbalance. For example, if we have … Continue Reading…

The Two Trees

There can be said to be two trees of life.

The first tree is the one most of us know better. It is rooted in the “world of men.” The roots originate in action, born of attachment to its fruits. We act to achieve a desired result. Seems natural, right?

Yet by grasping at what we want and avoiding pain, we impede the smooth flow of life. We build a web of unresolved energy that ties us to our past and others around us. It gets much harder to fulfill desires and action often leads to undesired consequences. … Continue Reading…


We are currently in an upward cycle of time, so evolution is naturally moving things along. But we often get distracted from dharma by the vagaries of karma, ego, and so forth.

What really keeps things moving is the divine. From the perspective of being in the world, we might call this intervention. Sometimes these flows are obvious, like when the divine takes form as an avatar (such as Rama or Krishna) or creates flashy events.

But much more often, interventions are small and subtle. For example, experiences often show up in our lives to help process … Continue Reading…

The Cause – Apparent vs Actual

Recently, I listened to a talk on jyotish (Vedic astrology). They spoke of the way Jain’s view karma. Jainism is an Indian faith based on non-violence and transmigration of souls in an eternal universe.

While their philosophy of karma is very like the Vedic view, there are a few variations in emphasis worth noting. This exploration is my perspective on the points rather than a Jain view.

Firstly, they describe the apparent vs actual cause of circumstances.

Nimitta Karan is the apparent external cause of circumstances.

When events arise in our life, the mind doesn’t just note what … Continue Reading…

Self Knowledge

Self Knowledge is a prominent feature of a spiritual journey. Much of this is unfolding our deeper nature. Knowledge comes about who we are beneath the body and mind. And about the nature of reality, which also relates to who we are.

But what has surprised me is the revelations about the person, those aspects of this expression that have felt like I outgrew them at some points on the journey.

What is present still expresses through this apparent form and personality with its own unique combination and emphasis of laws of nature. My awareness and understanding of this have … Continue Reading…

Being a Teacher

There’s a goofy idea some people have that awakening makes you a spiritual teacher. There can certainly be an impulse to share but teaching requires skill and a calling, not just wanting to tell the world.

Someone who gives talks (or whatever they call them) or writes isn’t a “spiritual teacher” in this context. A spiritual teacher in the strict sense of it is one who takes a responsibility to guide a student on their path.

They will work with you from spiritual levels – from the Self or our cosmic nature. This will be much less about your individuality … Continue Reading…

It’s Time

Karma, in this case referring to the consequences of past action, is described as having 3 types. With awakening, we are said to roast the mountains of our backlog and to stop creating new problems for ourselves. But the sprouted seeds that we began this incarnation with will continue to unfold.

With the falling away of the bindings of attachments, how we respond to life can change quite a bit. This is why no new problems. This is also the essence of the end of suffering.

I was reminded of this point several times recently. Several friends are … Continue Reading…